HCMC proactively safeguarding themselves from Omicron variant

Despite not yet detecting any case of Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) infection, Vietnam has received troublesome news from its neighboring countries. Having just experienced a harsh time in the fourth Covid-19 outbreak fighting against Delta variant, residents in Ho Chi Minh City now has a more stable mind and appropriate behaviors to ready themselves for this new variant.

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HCMC residents are doing physical exercises  to strengthen their immune system against SARS-C OV-2 (Photo: SGGP) 


Since the time HCMC loosened social distance rules to allow on-site dining, Duong Ngoc Tuan from Sky 9 Apartment Block in Thu Duc City has spent his morning time out enjoying a cup of coffee while his afternoon has been saved for mild exercise in a nearby park. Aware that he is in the group of vulnerable people as to Covid-19 infection, he has purposely chosen airy and spacious locations for his leisure activities to minimize direct contact.

“Even with two shots of Covid-19 vaccine, I always remind myself to strictly observe the 5K rules and update news about this pandemic to protect myself and my community”, said Tuan.

It has been 2 months since the time her eatery restarted its operation, Tran Thi An in Thu Duc City has taken up the habit of disinfecting the interior before closing. She also obeys the rule of serving only 50 percent of the regular capacity to ensure social distance among diners.

Having gone through such a harsh social distance time, all dwellers of HCMC are now accustomed to following the regulations for Covid-19 prevention and control like wearing a facemask when going out, leaving more space for customers in a shop.

Similarly, Thai Kim Long – owner of an informal restaurant in Tan Phu District – shared that he has hung a rope across the entrance into his restaurant to maintain a safe distance with his customers and only offered take-away service.

Receiving the news about a new and maybe dangerous variant of Covid-19, they display their concern, yet not too much fright or panic.

“It is now important to keep the 5K rules strictly, along with full vaccination, and continue daily activities. The city cannot lock itself down all the time,” expressed Tran Huu Tai from District 3.

At first, Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh from Binh Thanh District planned to pick up her daughter from Ben Tre Province so that the fourth-grader could continue her schooling in HCMC. Now that the new variant has entered neighboring nations like Singapore and Thailand, she decides to postpone the plan, seeing that her temporary accommodation in the city, which is just a room in a boarding house for manual laborers, is not as safe as the one in her hometown.

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Many people choose an airy and spacious informal restaurant or coffee shop to minimize the spread of Covid-19. (Photo: SGGP)

At present, HCMC has activated various Covid-19 prevention and control procedures, including an increase in monitoring people entering Vietnam, transformation of temporary quarantine zones in hospitals into a permanent department for Covid-19 treatment, reactivation of Covid-19 hospitals and mobile clinics, mobile medical teams in certain districts.

Statistics reveal that until December 5, nearly 8 million and 7 million residents in HCMC has received the first shot and second shot, respectively.

Doctor Truong Huu Khanh from HCMC Children Hospital No.1 shared that regardless of Covid-19 variants, people can never lower their guard. He informed that the more viruses develop, the quicker their spreading speed is, yet the weaker they become. Therefore, he assured that city dwellers should not panic. What they should do now is to get full vaccination and strictly observe the 5K rules, along with regular exercise and proper diets to strengthen their immune system.